Observations from Spurs’ Preseason win over Rockets

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AT&T CENTER – The San Antonio Spurs’ preseason schedule came to a close Friday, after San Antonio defeated the visiting Houston Rockets 114-99. For players like Bryn Forbes, Patricio Garino, Joel Anthony and Ryan Arcidiacono, it was their final time to show the coaching staff, they are worthy of the team’s final roster spot, as NBA rosters will need to be trimmed down to 15 players by opening night.

The one camp invite who really did his best to keep his name on the coaches’ minds was Forbes, who led San Antonio with a game-high 19 points. With the injury news being revealed before the game that Danny Green is expected to miss the next three weeks with a left quad strain, Forbes did his best to showcase his overall game. Forbes got to start the second half with the Spurs’ regular starting unit of Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. In that third quarter, Forbes finished with seven points on 2-of-2 shooting in six minutes.

Whether it was getting a middle screen from Gasol and nailing the wide open center 3-pointer, or Parker driving into the teeth of the defense and kicking out to Forbes in the corner for the made three and foul, Forbes put on a shooting display in the first six minutes of that quarter. But, his night was only starting. Forbes followed up his third quarter performance by getting to play all 12 minutes of the fourth, where he scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. In the fourth, Forbes showed it wasn’t just about his 3-point shot, as he used off-the-dribble mid-range pull-ups to show the confidence he has in getting points from all over the floor, not just beyond the arc.

“Things just started rolling, I got open a lot of times,” said Forbes after the game. “There were some plays with some great passes that a lot of guys did. They kind of helped me to get open and hopefully I’m knocking down the shots.”

“He made every shot,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich of Forbes’ second half performance. “I was watching.”

Keep in mind it was a preseason game and the Rockets left four of their core players in Houston (James Harden, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela), but offensively, the Spurs had a very efficient night. San Antonio knocked down 51% of their shots while tallying 31 assists as a team. Six Spurs scored in double figures and Manu Ginobili, Jonathon Simmons, Dwayne Dedmon, and Nicolas Laprovittola didn’t even play in the game.

Along with Forbes, campers Anthony (8 points, 5 rebounds), Garino (6 points) and Arcidiacono (6 assists) also all played well in their minutes on the floor.

But, with one roster spot left, the five training camp players will now await their fate to find out which of them did enough to earn a roster spot with San Antonio.

“We’ll have to make those decisions now before we head out,” said Popovich after the game.

While there’s no clear decision who the coaching staff will choose, with the loss of Green for three weeks and Forbes’ consistent performances in Summer League and in the preseason, if there were odds, they would be in Forbes’ favor to secure that last roster spot. Only time will tell, though.

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